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The wait is over, hoops fans! March Madness 2010 is officially underway. You barely have time to log on to your computer and grab a coffee before it's time to start watching games live online as soon as you get to work.
The Bay Area's first significant game comes at 11:50 a.m., when the St. Mary's Gaels play the Richmond Spiders in the 7-vs.-10 match-up for the South Region. Our local affiliate carrying March Madness will broadcast St. Mary's-Richmond live with occasional breaks to other games.
Your favorite bars or friends equipped with DirecTV may have access to the uninterrupted full game, and the online broadcast will also be uninterrupted. This is optimal scheduling for those able to take a two-hour lunch break.
The major Las Vegas casinos will tell you that the Gaels are two-point underdogs Thursday. Both teams are classic, little-known Cinderella candidates. But the general sense is that, having beaten Florida and Temple this season, Richmond just has more quality wins.
The Gaels' main man is San Ramon Valley High product Omar Samhan. The nearly-seven-foot-tall center no longer has the crazy hair, but he did lead the West Coast Conference this season in scoring, rebounding and blocked shots.
The game will be played the day after St. Patrick's Day, so the Gaels hope the luck of Irish is still in full effect. They even have a starting point guard named Mickey McConnell.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who will be lucky to even be awake at 11:50 a.m. PDT the day after St. Patrick's Day.